Keystone XL: 5 basic things you should know

For those not up to speed on the Keystone XL controversy, here is what you need to know.

5. When will a decision be made?

Evan Vucci/AP/File
President Barack Obama wipes sweat from his head during a speech on climate change, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, at Georgetown University in Washington.

It’s unclear. It has already been more than six years since the initial application for XL was filed, and President Obama has yet to issue a permit.  

Last May, the US House passed the Northern Route Approval Act, a bill that would allow the decision regarding Keystone XL to bypass presidential approval. It has not passed the Senate, though in April, 11 Democratic senators wrote a letter to Mr. Obama urging him to act and noting that the process had been “exhaustive in its time, breadth, and scope.”

With Republicans taking control of the Senate in November's midterm elections, Congress is likely to pass a bill approving the pipeline either late this year or in early 2015. It is unclear whether or not President Obama would veto such a bill, but the White House has repeatedly said the pipeline should undergo the approval process already underway.

(Editor's note: This slide was updated on Nov. 18, 2014 to incorporate the impact of the midterm elections.) 

5 of 5

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.